It’s Ann here and, with a smile on my face, I’m introducing a new series which we'll start next Friday: FIGHTING THAT GIANT!
In other words, spiritual warfare. We can always do with a fresh look on how to walk victoriously. And I know that many of us are in situations right now that fit the descriptor ‘Mind-blowingly tough’.
Here on this blog, I feel God often asks us writers to just share our lives. He takes us through things so that we can do that. Often it’s good stuff – Like Tiffany’s house purchase (yay!) Sometimes it’s crappy stuff. But pain brings story and testimony.
Well, my friends, I’ve got a situation currently that’s crappy, so here we go. I’ve mulled over whether to even share it because I don’t want to put particular attention on anything the enemy is doing. But I’ve decided that it is valuable to share, because it means we can have a good chat about how we fight tough things, with God by our side.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
So, let's roll up our sleeves and here's the situation:
When I stepped into fronting this ministry last year, I began to get unwell. That timing suggests it's the enemy, and I have had a couple of other clues that it is. I was prepared for it, knowing these things happen. In fact, I think a lot of Christians are going through some especially tough warfare at this time. If we are on the frontlines of salvation, as we are in this community with all our spouses, the enemy is going to have a go. His efforts won't be successful if we understand the fight and stay holding God's hand, but we do have battles.
Anyway, at first the illness was sporadic. Then it became more frequent. It turned into weeks in a row of lying on my couch. The main symptom is fatigue, and doctors are so far flummoxed. I have enough capacity to sit up with my laptop, hop on here, and look after my teenagers. So it’s not all bad. But still tough.
A health challenge is a new battle for me. It’s not something I’ve faced before, and it comes with an array of specific challenges, most of them being mental. But what God seems to be saying to me is this:
“Ann, you learned to fight the good fight of faith in your spiritually mismatched marriage. Now take those same tools and apply them to this new battle.”
In this series, then, I’m going to write about spiritual battles and tools. When we are facing a scary giant, like little David against whopping Goliath, what are our tools?
Many of us have been reading this blog for years and have read many posts on spiritual warfare. Still, when we find ourselves in new fights we have to start again and figure out how to fight this new thing. With that in mind, I'm going to share practically what I’m doing on my couch as I work through a new battle. Yes, it's couch-based spiritual warfare in action!
The story of David and Goliath is a great analogy for this, and specifically I'm going to consider David’s ‘five smooth stones’ in relation to our own tools. What are the five smooth stones that we can use?
"Then he (David) took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine." 1 Samuel 17:40 (ESV)
For the first post (next Friday), however, before even going near the tools I'm going to take a good look at Goliath. Even though our action involves flinging smooth stones (e.g., prayer, communion), we have to be able to see Goliath's weaknesses and know where to aim the stone in the first place.
For me, ‘Goliath’ is the giant of sickness. Some days he's scary. Other days I feel like I have more of David's warrior heart. But to fight him I have to understand him. So I'll start with that.
What giants do you have in your life currently? Let's have a chat about that one!